Conversations with the Experts- Dr. Ronald Wapner

For our Conversations with the Experts series, Dr. Ronald Wapner, MD, professor of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Columbia University, sat down to discuss genetic screening in Obstetrics. Dr. Wapner is an internationally known physician and researcher in the field of reproductive genetics, and helped to pioneer the development of chorionic villus sampling (CVS) and multi-fetal reduction. He has led studies into the accuracy, efficacy and clinical advantages of prenatal diagnosis using micro-array analysis, helping lead the way to new non-invasive screening tests for pregnant women.
Importantly, Dr. Wapner discusses how doctors must help patients understand what the new genetic screening tests mean, counsel them, and make sure they understand that any such test should be followed by invasive testing, such as CVS or Amniocentesis, to make a firm diagnosis. It’s extremely important to understand confounding factors of age, weight, residual risk, and the like involved in the new genetic screenings, in order to make sure the patient fully understands the information and can make a truly informed decision.